ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Simple Goal-Setting for Personal Success

Updated on May 20, 2014

Establish Your Goals

How happy are you with your life on a scale of 1 to 10? If you are below 5 then maybe it’s time to make some changes. Another way of thinking about goals is dreams. Dreams we had when we were younger often change as our life moves on or submerge under responsibilities and pressures. Perhaps something has happened that has generated a sense of being at a crossroads. If any of these scenarios are the case perhaps it’s worth stepping away from where you are now and taking some time to think about what you want to achieve.

Give your dreams a chance to come back to the surface. Start by working through these Key goal-forming questions:

  1. What you would like to be doing in a year’s time
  2. What do you want to happen that is not happening now?
  3. What will this feel like when you get there? Picture where you will be, what you will be doing and how it will feel.
  4. In his goal-setting theory Locke (1968) said that goals should be:
    1. Specific
    2. Challenging but attainable
    3. accepted

Then do a quick reality check:

  1. Check your assumptions on where you are now, get some feedback on your prospects, think about the underlying causes.
  2. Who else is implicated in your goals, are they on board with this and what will the effects be?
  3. Does it fit in with your ethos and values – will it still be you?

The Change Curve

Change always comes with an emotional journey. Elisabeth Kublar Ross described this with the, now well know, change curve.
Change always comes with an emotional journey. Elisabeth Kublar Ross described this with the, now well know, change curve.

Change Your Career?

Often our most challenging goals are around our career. This can be because of job dissatisfaction or just that feeling that you have something else inside – the potential to do something bigger. We sometimes reach these turning points after being let go from a job. Even if your first instinct is to try to get straight back to where you were before it’s worth taking the time to consider if your life has changed, if your skills have changed, or if the work you used to do has changed. If this is the case take some extra time for a personal review to evaluate the background, motivation and justification for your future career plan:

  • Take a piece of paper and mark up three columns. You could use mind mapping method instead but which ever method you choose try writing this by hand. This will slow down and deepen your thinking. The reflexivity of the process will allow your mind to make connections you might otherwise have missed.
  • In one column write what's important to you and what has changed in your life since you started your last job. Maybe you are ready to start a family or perhaps your children are older and don’t need you as much as they used to.
  • Next write down all the things you enjoyed about the work you have done in the past, include volunteering and projects at home such as DIY projects or re-designing a garden.
  • Finally add what you think you do well, include soft skills such as listening or making people feel at ease.
  • This personal analysis will deliver best results if you pin it on the wall and live with it for a few days. Talk to your friends and family if the opportunity arises.
  • Come back to the analysis and think about what it’s telling you and where you would like to be in a year’s time.
  • Visualise yourself achieving these goals, imagine what you will be doing, what will it feel like. This will keep you motivated, positive and moving forward.

Focus On Your Destination


Make It Happen

Make It Happen

It’s time to go back to your visualisation. Imagine yourself achieving your goal - coming out of an interview with a smile on your face or perhaps working for yourself:

  • If you were looking back after achieving your goals, what would you have needed to do to get there? These are the steps that will form your plan. Write them on the left-hand side of a big piece of paper.
  • Research each step. If it isn’t within your control you may have break it down further or investigate alternatives. Add any information you find out next to each step in a second column.
  • Add phone numbers, website addresses and names of any useful people in the third column. In a fourth column put estimated dates on the first three steps.
  • Enlist your family or friends as motivational coaches. They can encourage you when you are disheartened, look out for opportunities or help with studying. This will also have the effect of involving them and maintaining closeness. Significant life changes can often be deal-breakers in relationships when one partner feels left behind.

So now you have a plan, you are good to go! Finally be prepared to work hard on your goals. Opportunities don’t always fall at our feet and successful people have usually had to re-prioritize or make sacrifices to get there.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Allyson Cardis profile imageAUTHOR

      Allyson Cardis 

      4 years ago from Gloucestershire, England

      Thank you Patsybell, that means a lot.

    • Patsybell profile image

      Patsy Bell Hobson 

      4 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

      Some real things to think about. It just happened that I needed to hear this today. Voted up, U, I, tweet, Pin

    • The Stages Of ME profile image

      Kathy Henderson 

      5 years ago from Pa

      you hubs will be helpful to many I am sure :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)